These verses come from a Song of Praise David sang to the Lord after God had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies. Out of David’s heart came thanksgiving for God’s steadfastness…even in the face of calamity. And the deep-seated trust David had in God is not only evident here, but elsewhere when he declared, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4) David was able to turn fear into faith by keeping his eyes on God and not his situation.
We look at the chaos today and we think the world is totally out of control. But Proverbs 21:1 reminds us, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.” Pharaoh foolishly thought he was the most powerful man in the world…arrogantly thinking that no one could usurp his authority. But Pharaoh wasn’t aware that the Lord was directing him and that he was just a pawn in God’s bigger picture. For God tells Moses in Exodus 7:3, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart…” And in Romans 9: 17 Paul goes on to explain, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘ I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power in you and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ ” So as we see the turmoil around us, we need to remember that the mighty hand of the Lord hasn’t changed…He still rules and reigns over all…He’s still in control.
We’ve spent several days constructing a retaining wall in the back yard…and I don’t mind saying that strenuous manual labor in the oppressive heat of a Illinois Summer is hard! But now that it’s done, it was well worth all the sweat. Genesis 1:1 tells us that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Where we had cement pavers to build with, God called the universe into being…creating everything we see, smell, and hear out of nothing. For He is the author and architect of it all…bringing into existence that which was not.
I can still remember one of my Nursing Supervisors in college. She would stand outside the patient’s room with you asking a million questions about the procedure you were about to carry out. Did you have everything you needed and were you well versed in what you were about to do. But right before you both walked into the room she’d say, “I will only stop you if you are potentially going to hurt the patient.” It was always said in a quiet, soft voice, but boy did it pack a wallop! Luckily, she never said a word during any of my procedures, and I gained a wealth of knowledge from that uncompromising woman. The Lord is the same way, His discipline is to educate us, not hurt us. It’s only when we reject and turn away from His correction that we suffer.
It would be easy if living a Godly life was a once and done…or if we could somehow attain “Christian perfection.” Unfortunately, our walk is a lifelong journey…our race is a marathon not a sprint. What we learn one day…we apply to the next…and slowly we’re changed…day by day.
In only 52 days the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt, securing it from enemy attack. Despite everything their enemies attempted to do to dissuade and intimidate them, the wall was made strong. In less than 2 months time, the people of Jerusalem had done something of super-human ability… and their enemies realized this. Nothing will ever stand in the way of God’s plan…not people…not circumstances…not anything. And this will render the enemy fearful and in awe of God’s great power.
I think when I get to Heaven, the Lord will show me a little slide show. The theme will be – all the countless times He has intervened on my behalf, saving me from dangerous situations, and even sparing my life. I don’t think our mind can even grasp how often God has rescued us from ourselves and our dumb thinking. When that slide show is over, I will then finally come to realize the enormity of His work in my life…how unaware I was about most of it…and I will love Him even more.